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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Managing Outermost Regions fishing fleets

The EU currently has nine Outermost Regions (ORs), which are an integral part of its territory: the Canary Islands (Spain), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal), and Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Ma rtinique, Saint Martin, Réunion and Mayotte (France). While t he rights and obligations of the EU Treati es apply fully to these regions, Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) recognises that the y have particular features which constrain their development, and allows the adoption of specific measures adapted to the situation of the ORs. Under the current common fisheries policy (CFP) , OR fishing fleets are subject to the same management measures as all EU fleets . A s the CFP sets maximum limits of total tonnage and engine power, the capacity of the OR fleets cannot increase (though Mayotte, which became an OR more recently, benefits from a derogation) . OR fleets ' capacity limits are set for each fleet segment of each OR. To date, t he balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities in the ORs, based on Member States ' annual reports, has not been conclusive ly assessed , mainly due to lack of biological data on the stocks exploited. The Member States are authorised to restrict f ishing , in a 100 - mile zone around the ORs , to vessels registered in OR ports. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund ( EMFF ) takes into account the OR s ' specificities by authorising a higher intensity of public aid compared to the mainland (with the exception of aid for engine replacement ), and by a scheme to compensate additional costs borne by OR operators. The Committee on Fisheries (PECH) discussed the specif ic problems of the OR fleet s in an own - initiative report , with t he Committee s on Budget and Development providing opinion s . The re port was adopted in committee on 22 March 2017 by 18 votes to 2 with 6 abstentions , and is scheduled for the April II plenary session . The report points out that the CFP and the EMFF, designed for continental Europe, can only provide a limited response to the specific ities of OR fisheries , an d calls for the development of regional strategies tailored for each OR. Among other things, t he report promotes improved data collection , in particular on the state of the stocks .

Source: European Parliament